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Man drowns while fishing on the Columbia River

bridgeST HELENS, OR (KPTV) – A Scappoose man drowned while fishing on the Columbia River near St. Helens Sunday afternoon.

Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office said 55-year-old Richard Schlumpberger’s kayak overturned at about 3 p.m. after he became entangled in the anchor line and was unable to free himself.

Boats from the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Clark County Fire, Columbia County, Oregon Sheriff’s Office and the Coast Guard responded to the area. A Coast Guard helicopter also assisted in the search.

“They had a couple boats, and I think they found him by the time the Coast Guard got there,” said Josh Vanderzanden, who saw the search from his fishing boat. “The Coast Guard flew over and they were going to land. They warned everyone about flying sand and stuff when they landed.”

A short time later, divers recovered Schlumpberger’s body near the spot where he went under.

Deputies said Schlumpberger’s family was on shore when he went overboard, and they were notified of his death by a chaplain from the Cowlitz County Chaplaincy.

It is unclear if Schlumpberger was wearing a life vest.

From KPTV 

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